+ RMA Rural Municipalities
of Alberta

Resolution 32-02F

Effects of Use of Road Salt on Highways

January 1, 2002
Expiry Date:
December 1, 2005
Active Status:
Vote Results:

WHEREAS the use of road salt is posing a risk to the environment due to the toxicity of the salt;AND WHEREAS the use of road salt is also causing traffic accidents as a result of wildlife consuming the salt on the highways;AND WHEREAS key environmental concerns relate to eventual loss of melt water into surface water, into soil, and into groundwater at snow disposal sites.

Operative Clause:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to use an environmentally friendly non-animal attracting product for removing ice from provincial highways.

Member Background:

The use of de-icing agents is an important component of strategies to keep roadways open and safe during the winter and minimize traffic accidents, injuries and mortality under icy and snowy conditions.Road salts enter the Canadian environment through their storage and use, and through disposal of waste snow. Road salts are used for de-icing and anti-icing winter road maintenance, with some use as summer dust suppressants. These components enter surface water, soil and groundwater after snowmelts and are dispersed by splash and spray through the air. Chloride ions are conservative, which means that the ion follows water without being weakened or lost from flow water. All chloride ions that enter groundwater can ultimately be expected to reach surface water; it may take from a few years to several decades or more for steady-state groundwater concentrations to be reached.During the 2001/2002 winter season, Woodlands County experienced a large number of highway accidents that resulted in property damage and loss of life to vehicle occupants.

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